We are allowed to be optimistic - and after our incredible run this season, including one game in particular, we have seen that this season could be better than we ever could have hoped.

This season started in a predictable fashion.

A new coach brought with him new ideas, new tactics, a new regimen. Change takes time to embed and naturally, we started slowly.

Add to this that we played Man City and Chelsea in our first two games, and it was always going to be an uphill battle for us to scrape together any points.

Still, while City outclassed us, Chelsea can consider themselves lucky to have evaded dropping points, as we eviscerated the blues at times during the game.

We were still pointless after two games however, despite our signs of promise in our second game. The realists among us refused to panic, but thanks in no small part to the media and their best attempts to assassinate Emery’s job before it had even started, there was a real spotlight on our next games.

Since then however, Emery and Arsenal have risen, and sharply.

Eleven straight wins in the Europa League and the Premiership was the best return for our side for more than a decade. It saw us inside the top4 and with a perfect record in our Europa League group.

And still, we hadn’t convinced the doubters.

Apparently, we hadn’t played anyone of note, and when we would play one of the ‘big boys’ we would be found out.

Then we played Liverpool.

Chasing for the title supposedly. The only club worthy of catching City, some say. They would steamroller us, they would revel in our gift-giving defence, and their front three would rip us apart.

Yet, 90 minutes later, we had earned a draw.

Yes, we gave away chances. That is one of our weaknesses this season, and Liverpool could have had three or four.

But we could have had the same amount too. We created plenty of opportunities against a team that is supposedly our superior, a team that would show the cracks in our recovery, and let everyone know that we were the same weak side that had slumped to 6th place last season.

We stood toe to toe with them, and more than deserved a point,.

This was the result that showed how Emery’s evolution is in full effect, and how reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

We can be optimistic. I know it feels a little alien after the last couple of seasons, but we are looking good, have a great balance, and when we finally do get our defence optimised, we look to have a complete unit.

Remember, this is a work in progress. We will have weak moments, instances when we look a little lost and struggle.

We are on the rise though, and the match against Liverpool is pure evidence that we have what it takes.